Extraordinarily brave advertising from the most unexpected of sources

After years of skydiving and rollerblading Bodyform are forced to admit what “the Curse” is really like.

It’s a response to a facebook post that soon went viral.

Here’s what it said…

“Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen …..you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger”

I suspect this response will go more viral.

The Social Network

It’s not hard to imagine that a biopic of the creation of facebook – a project that isn’t even complete as its rise to world domination continues unabated – could be monumentally bad.  For a start all of the characters in the movie are real, alive and known litigation junkies.  In fact the structure of the film is built around litigation.

What’s more, it’s set in geek land, and it’s populated by America’s landed money generation; a class of kids who are not exactly imbued with likeability.  Add to that the layer of egotism of successful entrepreneurs, that has to be applied if this is going to be a true reflection of the situation.  And early on the movie dwells on a scene where the two key characters get off on the creation of an algorithm in a Harvard dorm and we’re in a place that has to be bad; does it not?

Well actually, no it doesn’t, in fact I can’t recall a biopic with such historical realism that betters this magnificent creation.

David Fincher is a director of some impact.  Fight Club and se7en, to name but two of his grisliest creations, typically hit you hard from the off and keep on hitting.  Not the sort of director you’d expect to be behind a successful exploration of coding in the Ivy League’s finest Halls of residence.  But what Fincher does is dial back the excess and zone in on a cast of young people that somehow creates a magnificent and fully fleshed ensemble whilst giving Jesse Eissenberg the star vehicle that at its core it has to be.  His portrayal of Mark Zuckenberg has to be seen to be believed.  And believe me you’ll believe it. This is direction and acting of the highest calibre.

The establishing scene of Eissenberg in a College Union bar being dumped by his lifetime love Erica Albright (played gently and beautifully by Rooney Mara) is jaw-droppingly good for three reasons; the camera work (subtle and gorgeous throughout especially the tilt shift effect later in the movie in England’s Henley), the dialogue (well what did you expect, Aaron Sorkin wrote the script) and the acting.  And that’s it.  We’re off and running for nearly two hours where the action never stops for a second and yet,; not a swear word is heard, no fights, no sex, no nudity, no special effects – so how can this be an action movie?

And yet it is, it’s hilarious (but there are no gags, no slapstick) and it makes you think from start to finish.  Because what Fincher and Sorkin have achieved is a morality tale for our time; not with the big crass in-your-faceness that Wall Street revels in, but in the intellectual ethics of Intellectual Property (IP).  Wherever you look in the movie you’re challenged to think who was right and who was wrong.

IP changes hands and evolves at a dizzying speed – one wonders whether it was it the germ of the idea or its evolution that created Facebook’s value.  Was Napster creator and serial entrepreneur Sean Parker (slyly played by Justin Trousersnake) a bandwagon-jumping opportunist or the real creator of Zuckerberg’s ultimate wealth?  Was Zuckerberg an impressionable but loveable innocent or a self-centred traitor to his only friend Eduardo Severin (also played sympathetically and at times the axis of the movie by Andrew Garfeild)? Was Severin a philanthropist or a pariah and were the Winklevosses (I lied, there are special effects in this movie) real? I particularly liked the fact that Sorkin and Fincher avoided the temptation to rip into these ridiculous stereotypes and, in so doing, gave them at least a shred of dignity by the film’s end.

Oh, did I mention the stunning soundtrack by Trent Reznor (NIN)?  Well, if I didn’t I should have because I’m going to buy the CD as soon as I’ve finished this review.

This is a very good film indeed.  It most certainly justifies a ten rating and I urge you to see it.

PS.  My pal did a show during the festival with this hilarious song in it.  I leave it for you to enjoy.

Quel disastre

Are any of you aware of Scrabulous?

It is probably the single best feature of Facebook. Basically it is online Scrabble and, in various degrees, it has engrossed the Gorman family. Most of all, Jeana.

She called me to the computer an hour ago and bemoaned the fact that although she had played some good words her online (random) competitor was kicking her derrière.

“Look at this” she said. “It’s not fair.”

The aforementioned competitor was clocking up big numbers. If truth be told I didn’t pay too much attention to the detail of the words but sniggered a little at the score. Half an hour later she ventured “Is She French?”

“What are you talking about?” I queried

“Well, I’ve just realised that her words are all French and she seems to be playing with the French dictionary switched on.”

Jeana had managed to play six, (Je suis desolee, six) rounds of what she thought was an English Scrabble game in French, without noticing.

What’s all the more amazing is that she had already scored 111 points. (Actually, that’s better than she usually does when she plays in English.)

Doh! (Je suis desolee, Doh!)

And if you doubt me, here is the proof.

Now, guess which words Jeana played. I’ll give you a clue cuirais and cabanon and observais and vengea and henne are not hers.